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Bowen praise for Bellamy

Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy

Craig Bellamy will dash into the derby in brilliant form and boosted by a heartfelt tribute from Blues assistant boss Mark Bowen after his performance against Arsenal.

The pacy Wales skipper's efforts, including a crucial goal, did not receive due acclaim as a high-octane second half switched the focus to strike partner Emmanuel Adebayor.

But Bowen, who reckons Bellamy's feisty attitude has "endeared" him to his team-mates, has heaped praise on the striker expected to lead City's attack at Old Trafford on Sunday.

He said: "Craig's been fantastic for us. We knew when we brought him into the club what he would give the team and squad in general. On the pitch his work-rate is exceptional.

"His honesty, the way he approaches a game and works for his team-mates, has endeared him to the squad. He's very demanding on the training ground and will always be that way because he wants the best from everybody around.

"He deserved his goal against Arsenal. He's created one or two for other people as well, and for him to get on the end and finish the way he did will keep his confidence high.

 

He tends to drift into areas and positions that help the team, he's not just an out-and-out striker - he gets goals, but he's a creator as well.

Mark Bowen...

 

Bellamy has been vying with Robinho for a starting place, and Bowen added: "He understands that not everybody can start, but like all top players he still wants to play every game. He will still be knocking on the manager's door when he's not playing."

Despite a number of expected absentees as City go into the derby looking to build on a perfect start of four wins from four games, Bowen insists there will be no trepidation.

He said: "Everybody's really looking forward to it. We will have a gameplan come the day. We've stuck to our gameplan so far and it's gone well for us. We'll go with confidence. 

"There's a real buzz about the derby, especially coming on the back of the Arsenal performance. It's been said already that there is an excitement around the place, an expectation. There's a heck of a lot of confidence around the training ground.

“Arsenal has put a marker down for us. That was a key game. There were question marks going in, the knockers were saying we hadn't played a top-four side yet. But I think that's put that one to bed.


"More than anything, it's important to have the start that we've had with new players coming into place - it was important they gelled quickly. It's given us a real foundation, a platform to go on from here."

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